Monday, March 15, 2010

Inside Four Walls: Testing Season...has begun

The CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam) starts tomorrow. It messes up our schedule for two days and at our school everyone passes (ELA 95-98% & math 98-99% [ that's me by the way]). Anyway the CAHSEE is a joke of a test. They have lowered the pass rate so that 8th graders could pass it. I have read/heard the passing score is somewhere in the 50's. That doesn't make sense to me. Same with the CSTs, the proficient rate is the low 60's. Really? so a D is proficient and an F allows you to graduate. Nice job of setting the bar high.

I'm not a big fan of Arne Ducan, but he was onto something when he said
"We have dummied-downed standards. It's our fault as adults. We've lowered the bar. We've had low expectations – not because it's the right thing educationally, not because it's the right thing for our economy. We did it because of political pressure."

I'm not ready for national standards, but any sane person will admit these tests are hardly testing anything.

After this comes the great CSTs...can't wait. My Geometry classes are so low compared to previous years and my Algebra 2, Algebra B aren't much better. I can see about 50% getting to proficient. There are some really smart kids and then there are those that are just sucking up oxygen.

We have late start days to discuss how the high score teachers did so well and one year a teacher was so honest when he said "I get rid of my low students before the test." We laughed, but he was right. He manages to piss off the students and parents so much they demand the school change their kid's class. I have no such luck. I have lost 3 Geometry students , 2 are guaranteed proficients or higher, but the 3rd is basic at best.

I will talk more about the CSTs as we get closer. They are always a fun topic.

I gotta do another UPS story soon too.

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